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How Do You Keep It All Organized?


gcfishguy
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What I'm talking about is paper caching, and keeping everything together.

I've been at it a few weeks and have found that the hardest part is organizing information. When I head out, I want to have a list (paper) of caches in the area, along with a short description. So I started with EasyGPS. That worked pretty good, then I picked up a copy of TopoCanada. I then found GSAK, and I like how it works with TopoCanada, so I'm in the process of switching all my data over into GSAK.

I also like that you can select a bunch of caches on the site, and pop them into GSAK by downloading the .loc.

 

Anyway...I'm just looking for input on what software you folks use, if you bring along ump-teen sheets of paper with waypoints and short descriptions on them, etc...

If I had a higher model GPSr I could include some info when i create the waypoints, but with a yellow eTrex, 6 letters is all you have.

 

If I use the print feature of GSAK, I'll have 7 sheets of paper if I use the 'Grid Columns' pick, and 45 sheets if I use 'Condensed HTML'. Ugh.

 

I know, "Get a PDA..." No offence to the paperless folks, but I'm only looking for hints from the paper-pushers. I actually sold a PDA that I wasn't using and used the $ to buy my GPSr, now I'm imagining using the PDA while caching and kicking my butt...but then I wouldn't have a GPSr.. :laughing:

 

Anyway...just looking for some onfo on the best (paper) way to be able to go out, have my bases covered, have info on caches (description, parking location, hints) and have enough info to be able to have fun.

 

Thanks!!

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Before I went paperless I would print out a dozen or so of the caches in the area I was going. I'd wind up bagging 2-3 caches and saving the rest of the pages for "later". In retrospect I should have probably thrown away the sheets for the caches I didn't do, because after a couple of years I had stacks of cache pages everywhere, in my desk at work, at home, in my car, on my dresser, in my pack, in the magazine rack, under my coffee table, you name it. 2 years after I went paperless I still find a few pages around now and then.

 

I do know of some people who use a 3 ring notebook and put the cache pages in there, with tabs that separate the pages by town, county, etc... That's not too bad an idea.

Edited by briansnat
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When I was using paper I did the notebook thing. The part I hated was having to drag the binder out to read the description of the cache or if I needed to look at the hint. Paperless is the way to go if you can afford it. And, if you are on a budget, you can get on ebay and get a PDA that can be used for caching for pretty cheap; $20-$30. I think it needs to have at least 8mb of memory. I use cachemate and GSAK and I love it. However, if you are dead set on paper, a notebook with tabs worked well as far as organizing for me.

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Print the cache pages from GSAK and specify 'no page breaks and no pictures'. Assuming that you are not doing more than 4 or 5 caches at a time aka, before returning to your vehicle, just fold these sheets in quarters and put them in your back pocket. Also don't forget to specify in the GSAK print selections to de-code the hint. Load the waypoints directly from GSAK into your GPSr.........hit the road. This is the method that I use when I have less than 15 or so caches set for my road trip. Otherwise I use a Palm m500. I also print the 'grid' view of the GSAK database so that I can at a glance get a quick look at the caches in relationship to each other. 'Cache on Garth' :laughing::lol::D Like I always say, "This stuff ain't rocket science...some just like to make it seem that way."

Edited by Team Cotati
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When I was using paper I had one of those clipboards with a cover. I would print out the cache pages and stack them in the order I wanted to travel. I also printed maps from National Geographics for details on driving and hiking. They would also be put into the clipboard in the order I needed to access them. When I had reached a cache I would make notes on the cache page with information about my adventure. I then would move that group of pages to the bottom of the papers and go onto the next. I ended up with a lot of paper and heaven forbid if I ever got any of them out of order.

 

:sad:

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I used to print out the cachesheets with maps on the back of each one. Now I export all the caches into mapsource (garmin) from gsak, then select the caches I want to find, copy them, and paste it in excel. If you use smartnames in gsak, and add the hints, terrains, and difficulty in the description field, you get a wonderful excel sheet with the name, the rating, the hints, and the coords. I number them in the route I want to take, and that's the only paper we carry.

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Even going paperless I still have to read through every cache I want to find.

 

So...what I did then was to copy and paste pertinent information from the cache I read into a doc and then print that.

 

Depending on how much detail I needed to find the cache I could get 5-8 caches per page.

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Even going paperless I still have to read through every cache I want to find.

 

With a completely-paperless solution, like GeoNiche, you can load all the caches in an area (say where you are going camping) and only read the descriptions of those that you find yourself close to. This works well for casual on-the-fly geocaching. No organizational skills required!

 

((RayDar))

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For paper, what else. A map case. I got one from Ranger Joe's 8 years ago. Fold and seals with velcro,. Opens up and maps/cachee info are visible in plastic, slots for pen, and map protractors, or small swag items, can be carried around neck with cord, or I have my man servant carry it for me(my oldest son). Tough material, quality case. For paperless, a Treo 65o smartphone. Lo tech to high tech in 60 seconds! :sad:

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I make a copy of the first 2 pages of the cache page, then file them in a 3 ring binder and take that along with me. When I get to the site of the one I am searching for I just remove the pages from the binder and take it along with me. When I return, I place it in another binder when I get home of found caches. This is unnecessary, but I do it anyway. Will probably stop this sooner or later and just throw them away after I find them.

 

What I'm talking about is paper caching, and keeping everything together.

I've been at it a few weeks and have found that the hardest part is organizing information. When I head out, I want to have a list (paper) of caches in the area, along with a short description. So I started with EasyGPS. That worked pretty good, then I picked up a copy of TopoCanada. I then found GSAK, and I like how it works with TopoCanada, so I'm in the process of switching all my data over into GSAK.

I also like that you can select a bunch of caches on the site, and pop them into GSAK by downloading the .loc.

 

Anyway...I'm just looking for input on what software you folks use, if you bring along ump-teen sheets of paper with waypoints and short descriptions on them, etc...

If I had a higher model GPSr I could include some info when i create the waypoints, but with a yellow eTrex, 6 letters is all you have.

 

If I use the print feature of GSAK, I'll have 7 sheets of paper if I use the 'Grid Columns' pick, and 45 sheets if I use 'Condensed HTML'. Ugh.

 

I know, "Get a PDA..." No offence to the paperless folks, but I'm only looking for hints from the paper-pushers. I actually sold a PDA that I wasn't using and used the $ to buy my GPSr, now I'm imagining using the PDA while caching and kicking my butt...but then I wouldn't have a GPSr.. :lol:

 

Anyway...just looking for some onfo on the best (paper) way to be able to go out, have my bases covered, have info on caches (description, parking location, hints) and have enough info to be able to have fun.

 

Thanks!!

Edited by AshleyPo
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Well, things fell together and a co-worker came up to me yesterday and asked if I knew anyone who wanted to buy an old palm. :lol:

$20 later, I am paperless. Not exactly what I planned, butit'll pay for itself in ink, paper, and lack of frustration.

It's an old visor, but 8MB of memory, so realistically that's enough. I just have to load the DB for whatever area I'm headed to.

Thanks for the input....I had figured I'd need a fairly high-end palm to go paperless, but found from your posts that wasn't the case.

 

thanks again!!

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I've tried sending e-mail to my blackberry.

 

One message per cache, with the cache name in the subject line and all information I need in the body of the message. Most likely not the best way, because it is time consuming cuting and pasting the information into the e-mail message. This is working for me now because I am only hit one or two caches at a time. However, I can see this would be useless if I took an out of state or out of city caching trip.

 

Shortly, I plan to look into a Palm or PocketPC device.

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Well, things fell together and a co-worker came up to me yesterday and asked if I knew anyone who wanted to buy an old palm. :lol:...

Thanks for the input....I had figured I'd need a fairly high-end palm to go paperless, but found from your posts that wasn't the case.

I'm glad you were able to work it out.

 

I used to file caches in notebooks with tabbed sections for each area I cached in. It was a real pain.

 

Incidently, the low-end of used palm pdas work great for caching. A few years ago, I picked up an old V for my dad. It only has a whopping 2mb of ram, but he can still have an entire PQ of caches in Plucker and use Cache Log Book and all the regular Palm features (for him that's just calendar and address book).

 

My advice for any cacher is to go online and buy the cheapest palm you can and go paperless.

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Actually, if you really think about it - going paperless will save you money over time.

 

10 cents per page x 3 pages of printout per cache (just printing the web page) x 250 caches = $75

 

Many of the cheap consumer grade ink-jet printers easily spit 8 to 20 cents of ink on a page even in low quality.

 

slightly used palms go for less than $50 on ebay regularly.

 

(ok ok - weak argument but run it past your "significant other" to see if you can come up with the funds)

 

:lol::tired:

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Print them in PDA format, less ink (this is an option on the cache page, I pring with 10 logs so I get more info). Keep them in an accordian file with alphabetical tabs - my friends who are starting geocaching and don't have a PDA are borrowing all the ones I have already printed, and then putting them back for the next person. If you are a AAA member, go there and get free maps for just about anywhere.

Edited by lonesumdove
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I organize all my sheets of paper in a plastic file folder, (bright purple so it is easy to find in the car!). Starting at the top of the compass and heading around clockwise, (N, NE, E, SE, etc) I put each cache in order, distance from my house. Anal, :laughing: yes, but I never lose anything that way, and when I am out and about, I just pull out the area I am looking in, and I have them all right there. Folded up and put in my bag, I can put notes as to what I took, left, or interesting things I saw to put in my online log. And then I recycle. :laughing:

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I started out as a "paper cacher". I would buy a smaller notebook. The "Fat Lil' Notebook" Brights by Mead is nice. It has a plastic cover and is small enough to fit in a pocket. I would put one cache on a page: cache name, difficulty & terrain, coordinates (parking too, if listed) and an abbreviated description. I would also include the encrypted hint. Then, when I found the cache I would note the date, and write a short blurb about my experience as well as trades made. Pretty much exactly like using cachemate. I would even note my DNFs. Makes a kind of neat way to look back on what you've done and where you've been as well.

 

Now I'm paperless. The only downside is that I need to bring along batteries for the PDA. Never had to do that with my notebook.

 

Bec

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